FreeCAD is the Free and Open Source software for 3D parametric modeling. Initially created for mechanical engineering applications and product design characteristics and the potential of FreeCAD conquer even specific areas of architecture and engineering.
The term CAD refers to more common meaning, the acronym for Computer-Aided Design ie ” computer aided design “. Additionally, CAD assumes the meaning of Computer-Aided Drafting , ie ” technical computer aided drafting “.
It can imagine, then, how to fall within the CAD software categories more specific products for many areas of application. While the first CAD software category refers generally to 3D solid modeling, the type software Computer Aided Drafting the role of support to the typically two dimensional technical drawing. But the evolution of development of CAD systems has reached such levels for certain applications which perform in a more or less complete both meanings of the term.
CAD systems revolve around more categories of software that address the various stages of design and construction of the product or infrastructure, Computer-Aided Manufacturing ) for the translation of 3D modeling in the instructions for numerically controlled machine tools, software CAE ( Computer-Aided Enginering ) for the numerical calculation of the valuation models and design optimization and the vast field of Geographic Information Systems ( GIS ).
architectural work, urban system, etc. These software are, for example, the systems CAM (
In this vast panorama of CAD systems and other directly related software categories, FreeCAD is a parametric solid modeler the use of which also falls into the category of systems CAM , PLM , CAx and CAE . Thanks to its modular architecture, in fact, you can expand the features and functionality of FreeCAD , while the use of language Python , allows not only to create scripts to implement specific features in FreeCAD , but also to develop complex modules to incorporate the solid modeling features ofFreeCAD within other software applications.
As mentioned, FreeCAD is a software Free and Open Source . Its basic components, in fact, are based on major libraries Open Source technical computing industry, such as: Open CASCADE , the popular 3D software development platform CAD / CAM / CAE, the C ++ API for 3D graphics Coin3D , the framework for the ‘Graphical User Interface (GUI) Qt and the powerful scripting language Python .
FreeCAD is also multi-platform and therefore freely available for systems Windows , Linux and Mac OS X . At the moment I am writing, the latest stable version is FreeCAD. To know in detail the novelty of the latest version you can refer to the official page of the 015 release notes .